It’s been a busy week for Red Bull New York. Let’s run it down:
• Last Friday, the club confirmed it had signed long-sought-after striker Luke Rodgers, formerly of League One side Notts County, where New York boss Hans Backe had a brief coaching stint. The speedy, diminutive (and feisty) forward scored 13 goals in 46 games for third-level Notts County. Hmmm. How will that translate to MLS? We have our doubts. Then again, Notts County just tied Man City in FA Cup play. Rodgers is nursing a right knee injury but hopes to join preseason training soon.
• On Tuesday, Major League Soccer—with Thierry Henry and Landon Donovan in attendance—announced that Red Bull Arena will be the site of the 2011 All-Star Game. The MLS All Stars’ opponent for that game, scheduled for July 27, has yet to be announced, but we’ve heard rumors that it will be—drumroll, please—Barcelona. We’ll find out within the next 30 days.
• Yesterday the club confirmed the long-anticipated signing of 20-year-old Brazilian midfielder Marcos Paullo, who had a trial with New York in 2010, and made an appearance in RBNY’s 2-1 win over Manchester City last July.
Say hello him here, where he gives a shout-out to the significant Brazilian community in Newark, the next town over from Harrison, home to Red Bull Arena:
• Former Red Bulls coach Juan Carlos Osorio, who was rumored to be the next man at Chivas USA, yesterday accepted the head coaching position of the Honduran national team, the newly minted champions of Central America.
• Coach Backe says that New York is still shopping for players, and hopes to add a right back and a central midfielder or a central defender before the March 19 opener against Seattle.
• Finally, that pesky Nicolas Anelka rumor resurfaced today, with French magazine L’Equipe quoting Anelka’s brother Claude as saying that the Chelsea striker could join former international teammate Henry at RBA. Treat it with a grain of salt for two reasons: 1. Anelka’s contract at Stamford Bridge doesn’t expire for a year and a half, and 2. The source of this rumor last time was—you guessed it—Claude Anelka. On the other hand, Fernando Torres did just sign with the Blues, possibly rendering Anelka superfluous. We’re not holding our breath either way.